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Image: Sanctuary Gateway unveiled

Sanctuary Gateway unveiled

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The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary unveils its plans for the next stage of major development – the Gateway Project.

The Sanctuary Trust presents to the Wellington City Council today the completion of an independent feasibility study of a significant development at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary that confirms visitor numbers can be lifted to 150,000 per annum.

The development – titled the Gateway Project, includes an impressive purpose built visitor centre with conservation/educational displays, a retail shop and a restaurant/café; world-class visitor attractions and associated quality facilities which will become an icon building and facilities for the Wellington City. The exciting and unique nature of the Sanctuary has already attracted the interest of education and science specialists from all around the world. The Gateway Project will further enhance the Sanctuary and Wellington’s international reputation and this includes Richard Taylor from the Weta workshop. One of the major attractions planned - a “primeval trail of lost fauna” - will be built by Weta Workshop.

Closeup Of New Building

Richard Bentley, Chairman of the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Trust said, “The Sanctuary has established itself as a leading conservation restoration project through a series of world and New Zealand’s first conservation achievements. The successes to-date were only made possible because of the significant support from community, local authorities, the crown, trusts and corporates.”

The Gateway project is necessary to take the Sanctuary to the next level of development in accordance with its 500-year vision. It aims to leverage off the achievements to date in conservation, science and education, and build a world-class eco-tourism and science business to both ensure long-term financial security and to realise the full potential of the enterprise for the benefit of greater Wellingtonians and New Zealanders.

The Gateway project is designed to provide a high quality and unique nature experience. Positively Wellington Tourism sees this as a key factor in attracting international and national visitors. It sees the ongoing development of the Sanctuary as one of the biggest opportunities in Wellington’s tourism.

The Gateway Project will lift the Sanctuary into a top visitor attraction next to Te Papa, and other facilities around the country such as the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, and Kelly Tarlton’s in Auckland. An independent economic impact study has indicated the project will generate valuable economic return to the Wellington economy.

The Trust has ensured this project fits strategically into the Wellington City’s vision of being a centre of creativity and innovation, and believes it contributes directly to achieving the City’s strategic outcomes. It is hard to conceive any other project that aligns so well with the purpose of the local government – to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities in the present and for the future. This is why the Trust has asked the Wellington City Council to be the prime funder of the development – to generate significant long-term benefit to Wellington and New Zealand.

The results of the Gateway Project will mean that everyone who visits the Sanctuary can enjoy and learn about the natural heritage of New Zealand within an evolving and living conservation environment. It is also a place where new conservation science and technology is being created for the benefit of all New Zealanders and to apply this throughout the world.”

Richard Bentley said, “Wellington City Council’s commitment to be a key partner and funder in assisting the Trust in delivering the Gateway project is an extremely positive outcome. This decision will assist the Sanctuary Trustees to further the fundraising process with potential funders in this landmark facility.”


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